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Old 07-20-2017, 10:21 AM   #1
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Default North Dakota waterfowl/upland hunt





A buddy and I are wanting to book a combo. duck-pheasant hunt (at least semi-guided) in North Dakota. Any recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks
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Old 07-20-2017, 04:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: North Dakota waterfowl/upland hunt





North Dakota is quite easy to freelance as a lot of ground is accessible because if its not posted its fair game to hunt the only places you may run into problems is the overcrowded areas like Devils Lake and the River. I haven't been in two years now but we didn't have any problems gaining access to ground that was posted. Plenty of Pheasants, Ducks, and Geese as long as you are willing to put a few miles on.
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Old 07-24-2017, 03:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: North Dakota waterfowl/upland hunt

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Originally Posted by FOWLHEAD View Post
North Dakota is quite easy to freelance as a lot of ground is accessible because if its not posted its fair game to hunt the only places you may run into problems is the overcrowded areas like Devils Lake and the River. I haven't been in two years now but we didn't have any problems gaining access to ground that was posted. Plenty of Pheasants, Ducks, and Geese as long as you are willing to put a few miles on.
While this can be true, it can also be very misleading. Replace "easy" with "easier than most other states" and its nearly spot on

Its been a few years since i have hunted ND myself, but not since scouting on the way home from Sask, or having friends been hunting up there. I can say that Posted ground is only increasing as the years go on. I have not hunted pheasants in ND (yet), but know that there are plenty of opportunities for upland birds on the PLOTS grounds, and other public areas, not to mention the private ground. A majority of the good waterfowl hunts will be found on private crop fields. If it is posted, contacting the landowner is not hard to do. Gaining permission usually isn't an issue, but can vary depending on location, their reasons for posting, and competition from other hunters in the area. Take a field AND water setup just in case you strike out on finding an unposted feed, or gaining permission for a feed. Dont be afraid to run traffic if the opportunity arises either!

Not saying this is how to do your hunt. But this is how we structure our hunting trips (less the upland) and it has worked very well for us: Scout in the evenings, hunt in the mornings, and get the upland birds after the morning hunt. BUT always end the day with at least a couple guys, if not the whole group, SCOUTING. Unless you want to focus on upland for a day. Oh, and visit with the locals! Many will point you in a direction of areas to scout, and sometimes specific properties. Unlike Iowa, their judgment of "a lot" of birds, is pretty accurate. Also, when they say there are "NOT a lot", there might be more than enough birds to satisfy your trigger finger, game straps, and wear a dog out lol (from experience). You will know not to bother when they say there isnt any birds. There will be more than IA, but nothing for ND.

I would imagine that you will put on several miles scouting with the dry/drought conditions. Depending on the time of your trip, when you find them... you will REALLY find them! Start with finding large waters and areas that show lots of potholes on google maps, Scout for waterfowl, and mark posted and un-posted upland ground on GPS that you see while on the road. And dont let your truck be a street princess! You will find waters that you cant see until you top the last hill before the road ends in water... and hopefully ducks! You will also prob find dried up wetlands, that will hold good numbers of pheasants as well.

I second the suggestion for freelancing. Especially if you have the equipment and the drive to make things happen. Put some of the $ in your "guide fund" into some extra equipment, or gas to fill the trucks a couple extra times to get on good birds, and your already ahead! And everyone will learn something, and become a better hunter from the experience. Not even debatable! If you dont learn something, you're doing it wrong, or should just quit because you're too good

On the flip side: There is no shame in hiring a guide. On a "tough year", Freelancing can be exhausting if you dont have guys that are up to the task. And seemingly impossible to have good/great hunts consistently, without effort from all involved. The only positives i can come up with for a having a guide: 1.) He may keep your barrels warm if/when the hunting is tough for others. 2.) You will spend less time behind the wheel.

Either way, have fun! and good luck on your trip! I will be up there killing geese before long, and maybe again later in the season.
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